It was three chairs for Bob and Joyce at 7th and Montana last week as they started a new trend at Our Favorite Starbucks: Bring your own chairs. Why? Because bit-by-bit over the last several months the Starbucks 'patio' chairs have been disappearing ... and those that remain are so old they're practically growing rusticles. Folks have complained, both locally and via the Starbucks website, but so far no one has done anything about it. Some blame the city, saying there are certain restrictions on outdoor seating. This may be true, but it doesn't explain why chairs that have broken or gone missing at Starbucks haven't been replaced. I ran a count this morning, comparing the outdoor seating at Starbucks with other cafes with the same amount of sidewalk space on Montana and the discrepancies are striking: Our Favorite Starbucks has only 10 chairs left outside. Peet's, just blocks away, has nearly twice that amount and Groundworks -- are you sitting down? -- has a whopping 51 chairs outside, plus a bench that seats three. Perhaps we should alert the Starbucks Chair Man ...?
Friday, October 24, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Sugar Mama, a local loon without equal at 7th and Montana. Actually, she has lots of Equal … and that’s just the problem. Every morning, she makes a beeline for the artificial sweetener and Equal is her brand of choice. She doesn’t just put it in her coffee. She stuffs packets of it – one after another – into her mouth and eats them whole, wrapper and all. Sometimes she’ll down more than seven packets in a single sitting. “You’ve got to admire her technique,” I said, “She somehow manages to chomp all that paper – together with the artificial sweetener -- without making a single sound.” Here’s how she does it: She folds the packets into tiny squares, then quickly pops them into her mouth and nibbles like crazy. “That’s one way to get your fiber,” said Joyce. Some say she puts the sugar in meshugenah, but I say to each their own. If she wants to make an aspartame of herself, that’s her business …!
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Watch your step, folks, there’s a new loon in town. Meet the Admiral, a man who can’t resist screaming “Old Navy” for no apparent reason at five-minute intervals. I first noticed him yesterday, standing at the doorway of Our Favorite Starbucks. “Old Navy?,” he asked me. “Gap,” I replied, brushing passed him. Banana Republic might have been more appropriate. Twenty minutes later, he flew into a rage. “OLD NAVY!,” he shrieked, gesturing wildly and toppling over a trash can. “Take that!,” he continued, throwing a chair on the sidewalk and kicking someone’s bicycle. By this point, I had assumed the standard 7th and Montana Loon position: “Duck your head down and stare intently at the floor. Don’t make any sudden movements.” “Money, Money, Money!” the Admiral screamed. Neighbor Johnny gave him 50 cents, which seemed to make matters worse. Starbucks management called the police, who carted him away faster than you can say “Urban Outfitters.” He was last seen shopping for something in stripes …
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It was ‘Yakety-Yakety-Yak’ at 7th and Montana on Sunday as a visitor from Finland made the scene, intent on Skyping up a storm on his iPad. At first, his loud babbling was merely annoying, but after about 45-minutes I wanted to tell him to go to Hell-sinki. Finally, Kovar interrupted him long enough to get the scoop. “What language is that?,” he asked. “It’s Finnish,” said the Newcomer, “It's very distinct, isn't it?” “I just wish he’d Finish,” muttered Cathy. But the conversation went on and on. I don’t know what sort of manners they teach across the pond, but something tells me this guy could use a few semesters at a good Finishing School …
Friday, August 15, 2014
Bladders were bursting at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Newcomer known as "Dr. Leaky" left a few souvenirs in front of Our Favorite Starbucks: Three glasses and a carton filled with urine. "Eureka!," I cried, "At long last an end to the News Drought!" And the story gets better. Evidently, someone left a single glass of urine in the same spot yesterday. Stay tuned, folks, something tells me we're in for a gusher tomorrow ...!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Boy do I feel like a dumbbell. There I was at 7th and Montana this morning, tempting fate, commenting on how quiet it has been lately, when the floodgates opened. "Gee," I said, "We haven't had any loons around here for a while." And it's true. Except for the growing pile of dog feces at 7th and Georgina, it's been a pretty quiet summer. And then it happened. An Anonymous Loon headed my way screeching "Rivers of Blood, Rivers of Blood." He was a thin, young man in his mid-twenties with a crazy glint in his eye and a baseball cap on his head. He carried a dumbbell in one hand, wrapped in paper, which he used for emphasis, much like a professor with a pointer. "Only the Pure Bloods will survive," he cried, "Hells-a-poppin'!" He babbled on and on breathlessly for 20-minutes. "Maybe he gets paid by the word," I said. And then the police arrived, donned their rubber gloves and escorted him away. Whether he was on drugs or just unstable, I hope he gets some help. Meanwhile, next time I start wondering why it's been so quiet at Our Favorite Starbucks, I'll keep my mouth shut ...
Friday, June 20, 2014
Sirens were blaring near Our Favorite Starbucks this week as police finally responded to mounting evidence of a scandal at 608 Georgina. Here’s the poop: For weeks, someone has been depositing little plastic bags filled with dog poop in a fenced-off area intended to protect a palm tree during construction. The bags have been piling-up, layer-upon-layer, faster than you can say Shit Mountain. No sooner does one batch petrify, than another accumulates on top of it. Police have been nosing around for days now trying to identify a suspect known among locals as ‘the Poopmeister.’ Some say he’s just trying to get attention, but I think he has a loftier goal in mind. He’s building a Stairway to Paradise … with a new step every day!
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
"My owner went on a Caribbean Cruise, but all I got was this lousy life-saver." If dogs could talk, that's what this sullen Bernese Mountain Dog would have said yesterday when she made the scene at 7th and Montana looking like a refugee from the S.S. Minnow. Rumor has it she was wearing an inflatable life-saver around her neck to prevent her from licking herself after surgery, but I know the real story. She was gearing-up for a trip to the 'poop deck' at 608 Georgina ...!
Friday, June 13, 2014
My nose for news was working overtime at 7th and Montana this morning, thanks to the arrival of a mysterious stranger wearing an even more mysterious perfume. Kathy was the first to notice it, and she wasted no time trying to identify its source. "You smell sweet," she said to Robin, who was standing nearby. Sweet was an understatement. It was the floral equivalent of a caramel-coated, sugar-frosted fudge ball. "It's not me," Robin whispered, "It's him." Sure enough, the smell was emanating from a man standing at the condiments bar. It followed him out the door like a cotton candy miasma. I don't know where this guy gets his fashion advice, but someone should tell him it's time to change the Chanel ...!
Thursday, June 12, 2014
It was crash, boom, bam this morning at 7th and Montana as a three car pile-up blocked traffic near Our Favorite Starbucks. The problem began when a silver Cavalier screeched through a red light and took a left on Montana, leaving a trail of chaos in its wake. Other motorists slammed on the brakes. A Prius plowed into a truck and a Lexis plowed into the Prius. Fortunately, no one was injured. The driver who caused the incident was nowhere to be found.
And that wasn't the only pile-up in town. Evidence is mounting in the local scandal known as Poop-Gate. Just who, exactly, has been leaving little bags of poop near the corner of 7th and Georgina? Stay tuned ...!
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Newcomer made the scene wearing an outfit that gives new meaning to the term 'fashion plate.' She wore a pair of baggy pants that were festooned with plates, teapots and various bits of floating breakfast food. "Now there's some food for thought," said one witness. As for me, I admired her honesty. "Finally," I said, "Someone who really means it when she says that everything she eats goes straight to her ass ...!"
Thursday, June 5, 2014
It was a cover-up of massive proportions at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Loon rolled his dog up in two blankets – like a Canine Burrito -- and placed it on one of the only remaining chairs at Our Favorite Starbucks. “Life is ruff,” I said, searching for a place to sit, “Maybe I’ll just go crouch by the fire hydrant in case nature calls.” The dog and owner, for their part, remained so motionless I wondered whether rigor mortis was setting in. Some say I should forget the whole thing, let sleeping dogs lie, but I think we need to draw the line somewhere. After all, if we allow this kind of behavior to persist, who knows what we'll see next ... Pigs in a Blanket?!?
Sunday, June 1, 2014
The crowd at 7th and Montana was 'Down in the Dumps' this week as evidence mounted that the city's new recycling effort -- the installation of solar powered trash and recycling bins -- is a sham. Starting last year, Santa Monica spent a small fortune to install a series of Big Belly trash and recycling containers in highly-visible locations all over town. The concept is intriguing: You just put your recyclables in a solar -powered container, and they are automatically compacted and stored until the City can collect them. A built-in sensor even alerts the sanitation department when it's trash collection time. Kim Braun -- Santa Monica's resource recovery and recycling manager -- crowed about the program in media interviews last year: Solar Powered Trash Cans Talk to the City. The only problem is, ever since these high-fallutin' trash cans were installed on Montana Avenue, witness after witness has seen the trash collectors mix recyclables with other trash and haul it all away together. One worker, when asked about it, simply said, "Sorry, we don't have the proper trash bags to actually recycle." Do town officials think we're all so Green that we won't notice a hoax when we see one? Or are they too busy doing media interviews on how Green we are to clean up their act ...?
Monday, May 26, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Hatless Wonder, an anonymous member of the Table Hog clan who spent much of his weekend wondering where his hat was. He came by my table on Saturday, munching a banana, and looking like a lost soul. "Has anyone seen my hat?, he asked. There was something desperate in his tone, almost as if his hat had been in cahoots with his frontal lobe and, together, they'd flown the coop. "Finally," I thought, "A chance to win back at least one of the chairs he and his friends were hogging. "I saw it ... It went that-a-way!," I cried, pointing towards Peets. But he saw right through me and so did his friends. Hat's off to them, I guess ...
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Day 23 of the growing scandal known as Topiary-Gate has brought with it an interesting new twist. The topiaries, long abandoned on the sidewalk near 7th and Alta, have been thrown into the street and in their place is a Teepee of Schmutz. Evidently, the new owners of the fake Italian Villa have moved their dead plants onto the street in order to make way for a pile of broken plastic toys and branches. Where do these people come from, anyway, Upper Slob-ovia ...?!?
Friday, May 9, 2014
It's Day 12 and there's no relief in sight in the local scandal insiders are calling Topiary-gate. It seems like just yesterday that newcomers moved into the Fake Italian Villa near the corner of 7th and Alta. At first I thought, "Great, new neighbors, perhaps they'll put down some roots." But no. These people did the reverse. Shortly after their arrival, they uprooted a pair of decorative topiaries that once flanked their front door and tossed them onto the sidewalk for all of us to enjoy. 12 days later, the dead husks remain. I say we stage a protest. Let's take all the dead plants and uprooted weeds in a five block radius, throw them into a giant welcome wagon and wheel the whole mess into their front yard ...!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Cheers erupted at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Motorist circled the block in a pimped-out Bunny Mobile. The vintage, bright pink and purple Cadillac -- complete with tail fins and faux rocket boosters -- looked like something Peter Cottontail might use to cruise Sunset Strip. "Now that's what I call an Easter Parade," said one witness. Some say the driver, who drove past Our Favorite Starbucks twice, was just looking for attention, but I think his repeat visits were entirely appropriate. It was, after all, a day for Second Comings ...
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Fool on the Hill, an anonymous musician who made the scene at 7th and Montana this morning with a message for us all and a medley of Beatles tunes in his heart. "Help!," I said, "Looks like this one has a John Lennon fixation." He rode in on a van festooned with conspiracy theories about John Lennon's death and carried signs promising to reveal the Truth. "So," I asked him as he strummed his guitar and sang an off-key rendition of 'All You Need is Love,' "What's with the Magical Mystery Tour?" "We're all Satanic," he cried, "You're Satanic; I'm Satanic; We're all a bunch of blood-sucking, Satanic vampires attracted to a vortex of Evil!" I glanced briefly at the pastry case and considered his theory, then backed away quietly. Sometimes it's best to just Let it Be ...
Monday, April 14, 2014
It's a jungle out there, folks, and if you don't believe me, just ask the pair of Stone Lions that made the scene this morning in front of Our Favorite Starbucks. I wasn't there for the mane event, but rumor has it a very confused delivery man was circling the block all morning looking for the lost Library of Alexandria. He was close, but no cigars. The parchment in Alexandria went up in flames more than 2,000 years ago. The parchment at 7th and Montana has been cleverly protected for years in its own, special display case ...
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this morning as an Anonymous Wing-nut made the scene wearing a pair of wings and a fuzzy halo. The Wing-nut, an attractive young woman in her early twenties, breezed into Starbucks during the morning rush, flitted briefly around the pastry case like an Angel of Mercy, then disappeared faster than you can say Morning Bun. Some say she was heaven sent, but I know the real truth: She's just another escapee from the Aviary at 7th and Margarita ...!
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Quick, call National Geographic: A new species of Loon made the scene at 7th and Montana yesterday and this time it's one for the history books. Meet Loonius Montanicus, a particularly noteworthy specimen characterized by its green stripes, crossed eyes and peculiar taste in pastry. "You look a little green around the gills," I said, "Let me guess, Maple Scone?" "No," mumbled the Loon, "Cake Pop." And there you have it. Only a Loon of stupendous proportions would take such a risk ...!
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, make way for Mary Poopins, a fashionable matron who floated down 7th Street this morning on the wings of her umbrella. Never mind that it was a beautiful, cloudless morning, "Mary" clutched her umbrella like a little old lady clinging to her diamonds. Some say she was just avoiding the sun, but I think she was secretly hoping for another crew from TMZ to come along. After all, the last time someone brandished an umbrella at Our Favorite Starbucks they ended-up getting a lot of publicity ...
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana yesterday as a candidate running for local office practiced his campaign speech on me and Genevieve. "Howdy," he said, "Mind if I run my statement by you?" He cleared his throat, waved a piece of paper in the air, and began reciting the lyrics to that popular children's tune, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes ... Knees and Toes!" By the time he got to "eyes and nose and mouth and ears," I knew something was terribly wrong. "What do you think?," he asked. I answered quickly before he could launch into another chorus. "I'd say you're head and shoulders above the rest, not to mention knees and toes!" Genevieve noted that he'll be facing some pretty stiff competition. "Yes," I agreed, "I hear her speech will draw heavily on the Hokey Pokey." I could see his mind at work, almost like the wheels on the bus that go round and round. "I have to run," he said, "Whether I win or not, it's the right thing to do!" As for me, I learned an important lesson: Sometimes a stump speech can leave you competely stumped ...!
Monday, March 24, 2014
It was a bumper crop at 7th and Montana yesterday as an Anonymous Loon spent the morning quietly plucking fruits and nuts from the trees surrounding our Favorite Starbucks. The 'Farm Hand,' a man in his early sixties, looked like a cross between Juan Valdez and Captain Kangaroo, but don't let that fool you. He was stealthier than both of them combined. He snuck up to a tree near the 'parking lot from hell,' looked around to make sure no one was watching, then quickly snatched dozens of loquats, passing them one-by-one to a faithful assistant who stood nearby with a basket. "There are some very interesting mushrooms growing on the Eucalyptus Trees on 7th," I said, "And I bet they'd be perfect in a Risotto!" I don't think he'll be back ...
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
I may be on the road, but it's nice to know that it's business as usual at 7th and Montana. Apparently, TMZ has stepped-in to report the day-to-day occurrences at Our Favorite Starbucks in my absence. In case you haven't heard, they just filed this report -- Umbrella-Wielding Man versus Taser -- about a man who made the scene last night intent on using one of the sidewalk umbrellas as a deadly weapon. Police were on the scene within minutes, tasered him into submission and brought him to the hospital for mental evaluation. Whoever he is, I hope he's OK. As for the police, I can't help wondering -- as TMZ did -- whether they used excessive force. If the authorities went around tasering every oddball at 7th and Montana, half the customers would be aglow ...
Monday, March 10, 2014
A funny thing happened on my flight to Rome yesterday. Two nuns sat next to me. Not that there's anything funny about a Flying Nun. Lord knows it wasn't Sally Field's finest hour. But these two -- no doubt on their way to visit the Mother Superior Ship -- were even more annoying than Sister Bertrille. The one on the right spent most of the flight coughing in my direction ... and she didn't cover her mouth. After four hours, I decided to take action. "How exciting to go to Rome!," I said. "Yes," she replied. "We're just going for a brief visit." "How nice," I said, "Is it comfortable traveling in a habit?" "Oh yes," she replied, "It's fine." "You know," I continued, "I can think of an even better habit: Covering your mouth when you cough." That pretty much ended the conversation. She spent the remainder of the flight coughing in the direction of her colleague and occasionally looking at me as if she'd like to rap my knuckles with a ruler.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Eyes were popping at 7th and Montana this week as a mysterious, new sign appeared across from Our Favorite Starbucks promoting a business called The Pump Station. The headline read, "Ask about becoming our Mommy & Me Friends with Benefits!" An illustration showed a pregnant woman waving a bra in one hand and leading a toddler down the street with the other. "At last," I said, "Signs of new business!" For months, folks have been wondering what might move into the space formerly occupied by 'Hypoxy,' home of the Vacu-Tron Fat Removal System. A Breast Milk Emporium seems like just the ticket. And besides, it's perfectly in keeping with 7th and Montana history. Once a Pump Station, always a Pump Station, I always say ...
Sunday, February 23, 2014
We've all seen our share of crazy drivers at 7th and Montana, but an Anonymous Newcomer who made the scene last week really takes the cake pop. The driver, a local woman, was so desperate for her caffeine fix that she drove right up onto the sidewalk facing 7th Street, crashed through the bus stop and screeched to a halt near the door of Our Favorite Starbucks. Fortunately, no one was injured. The driver emerged, completely unharmed and eager to place her order for a Double Espresso. Witnesses were so rattled they couldn't remember the make of her car, but judging from their reactions, I'd say it was a Dodge. Police cleared the sidewalk within minutes. As for the driver, rumor has it she left the scene muttering that nothing beats a drive-thru Starbucks ...!
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Don't get your panties in a bunch, folks, but just when we thought the low-hanging, peek-a-boo underwear craze was over, a new fashion trend has emerged at 7th and Montana. An attractive newcomer made the scene this week wearing floral panties over a pair of tights. "Good God," I said, "Shouldn't some things remain Victoria's Secret?" Some say she was deliberately airing her dirty laundry, but I think she just made a terrible mistake. Afterall, accidents will happen. Stay tuned for news regarding other accidents at Our Favorite Starbucks.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
It's official, our Favorite Former City Councilman is running for L.A. County Supervisor. He made the announcement last month -- 'NBC-4: JFK Nephew Bobby Shriver Enters LA County Supervisors Race -- but I guess I've been too busy focusing on the more unusual comings and goings at 7th and Montana to have noticed genuine news breaking. His official campaign site is here: http://bobbyshriver.nationbuilder.com/
In unrelated news, a woman made the scene on Sunday wearing underwear over her pants. Details at 11:00.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, another loon planned a trip to 7th and Montana. He made the scene this morning at Our Favorite Starbucks, looking like a character from the Star Wars Cantina. "I've got Star Power," he shrieked, shaking a fist at the crowd, "I'm a celebrity." True, he carried a pair of white loafers in one hand, but that didn't exactly make him Elvis. "They're writing a book about me," he went on, looking around frantically for Paparazzi that weren't there. "I'm famous," he cried, "famous!" He let out the kind of cackle that had folks dialing 911. "They're making a movie about me," he yelled, "Oliver Stone is directing!" "I think he means Oliver Stoned," I muttered. I'm not sure what he was drinking, but something tells me it wasn't a decaff ...!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It's common knowledge that Mafia Kingpin Whitey Bulger spent nearly 16 years hiding out near 7th and Montana, but few people know he left behind an evil twin. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Whitey Folger, a man whose own notorious deeds have been percolating at Our Favorite Starbucks for months now. Every morning he asks a Barista for a cup of hot water. Then, almost under their very noses, he pulls a jar of Folgers Crystals out of his backpack and makes his own coffee, using their water. "Ahhhh," he said, as I looked on in astonishment, "This is the life!" He deserves the life, alright ... a life sentence in Folgers State Prison!
Monday, February 3, 2014
An Anonymous Prankster got a few yucks out of the crowd yesterday at 7th and Montana when he replaced the sugar with salt. Several customers came sputtering back to the counter demanding a fresh coffee. No one knows exactly who did it, but my money's on the Evil Bible Thumper. He sat by the condiments bar, as usual, reading his bible upside down and muttering obscenities, but that innocent act didn't fool me for a second. I'm just surprised he didn't leave a pillar of salt by the pastry case ...
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
They say the early bird gets the worm, but at 7th and Montana, all you get is more birds. I arrived at Our Favorite Starbucks yesterday just as the sun was rising, and was greeted by an Anonymous Loon with a Parrot. "Is this your bird?," he asked, pointing at the parrot, which was perched on his shoulder. He apparently found it wandering aimlessly up and down 7th Street. "No," I replied, thinking quickly, "It's not mine, but why don't you let me take a picture and we can use it to help find the owner." "Oh, thank you, that's very nice!," he said. "Think nothing of it," I replied, "I'm just performing a community service. Now watch the Birdie!" I don't know if he ever found the bird's rightful owner, but something tells me that the mysterious, new neighbors at 7th and Marguerita -- the ones who installed a noisy aviary next to their house -- have an escapee on their hands. And maybe the parrot is theirs, too ...!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Tuesday was National Squirrel Appreciation Day and you know what that means. The nuts were out in full force at 7th and Montana. Meet Mr. Baggins, a jovial newcomer who made the scene wearing a shopping bag on his head. I've heard of having bags under your eyes, but wearing one on top of your head seems a bit -- well -- squirrely. The handles hung down over either side of his head, like jaunty ear flaps on a demented World War I flying ace. "What do you think," said one witness, "Is he in the running for Squirrel of the Year?" "Oh yes," I replied, "He has it in the bag ...!"
Sunday, January 19, 2014
It was time to turn over a new tea leaf today at 7th and Montana. In addition to my usual early morning stop at Our Favorite Starbucks, I paid an afternoon visit to the newest cafe in Santa Monica, the "Holy Grounds" at Saint Monica's Church. Granted, I'm Jewish, but the whole concept of a cafe in a church was so intriguing I had to give it a try. "Hmmm," I marveled as I crossed the threshold, "I wasn't hit by a lightning bolt. That's a good sign." The staff, all volunteers, couldn't have been more attentive. Perhaps that's because I was the only customer. I ordered an "Ave Maria" tea, a blend of God-Knows-What, but with a name like that, who can resist? "What do you do, make it with Holy Water?," I asked. The volunteer chuckled and replied, "If that's what you want, I can certainly say a prayer over it." And that's exactly what he did. I almost paid him in Hong Kong Dollars, just to see if he would convert them. "Tell me," I asked, "What's the plan for this place, does the money go to charity?" "It does," he replied, "We support a group of incarcerated young men. Eventually, some of them will be working here, too." If that's not putting the Bar in Barista, I don't know what is. My mind raced ahead to my next visit:
Barista: Here you go, sir ... one cappuccino, hold the Hallowed Grounds.
Me: Thanks. What are you in for?
Barista: A minor offense, really. I laced my father's coffee with cyanide. But don't worry, that's all in the past. I'm turning the other cheek, now. Sugar ...?
Seriously, Holy Grounds is worth a try. Their coffee and tea is all organic, from Urth Caffe. I think the only reason they're not more crowded is because they're not promoting the place enough. They could try to call their coffee 'heavenly,' but that slogan was taken years ago by 'Chock Full 'O Nuts.' And besides, we all know where to go for 'Chock Full 'O Nuts' ...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
It was a Devil May Care attitude at 7th and Montana on Sunday as an Anonymous Demon Hunter made the scene intent on protecting the crowd from evil. I knew something was up as soon as he began stacking chairs on top of each other to create a fortress. "Uh oh," I said, "I smell trouble." He pulled a set of rosary beads out of his pocket and began pointing it at oncoming traffic. "Beelzebub, Begone!," he shouted. Two daring Baristas asked him to leave, but their efforts backfired. He merely walked inside and grabbed a table by the pastry case. "Evil is nearby," he cried, "I can sense it!" The poor guy was obviously in the wrong place. He should try the new Holy Grounds Café at Saint Monica's Church, where I hear the coffee is a religious experience ...